Militant Sikh Kills Man Over “Sacrilege”

A Nihang Sikh (Sikh warrior) was arrested on January 16th in the district of Kapurthala in India’s Punjab state for allegedly murdering a man over suspicions that the victim committed sacrilege at the Gurdwara Sri Chaura Khooh Sahib, a historical Sikh temple in Phagwara on the night of January 15th.

The accused, identified as Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math, was arrested for murder under the Indian Penal Code. At the same time, the victim was charged under Section 295-A of the Penal Code for hurting religious sentiments.

The first information report (FIR) stated that the victim entered the gurdwara (place of worship for Sikhs) on the night of January 15th. The temple’s manager, Narinder Singh, told the authorities that the victim wanted to commit sacrilege at the temple.

The accused was neutralized at 2 am when I went to inform the police. Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math was staying at the gurdwara for the night. When I went to inform the police about the incident, the man attacked Ramandeep Singh, who acted in self-defense, and the accused died,” Singh told the police, as per the FIR.

The suspect uploaded a video of the suspect before allegedly killing him and locking himself inside the temple. Math claimed that the victim admitted in the video that he had been sent to commit sacrilege in the gurdwara.

In the video, the victim was purportedly seen speaking in Punjabi and mentioning a person named Sukhi, who he claimed sent him to commit sacrilege in the gurdwara. While he admitted he was sent to commit sacrilege, the victim insisted that he did not do anything and was innocent.

Vatsala Gupta, the senior police superintendent for Kapurthala, said that an FIR has been filed and that all the details regarding the incident, including the victim's identity, are being verified.

This is not the first time the state of Punjab has witnessed incidents of sacrilege in Sikh temples. In December 2023, the president of the Sikh-centric Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Sukhbir Singh Badal, apologized to the state’s Sikh community for the failure to arrest the culprits involved in the 2015 sacrilege cases during the party’s rule.

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